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Should adults have 'wishes' too?

Posted 08 Jan 2020 at 23:54

Hi, please feel free to shoot me down, as I don't know if this is allowed, or is even in the right part of the forum! It's just that, well, I have PCa myself and also have some family and some friends who have varying types of cancer. Having watched a film called "The fault in our stars" a couple of years ago, (where a young lady had cancer and gained a boyfriend, who both then went off and had an adventure, paid for by some cancer charity). I don't know if anything like this exists for adults? (But I'll bet it doesn't!) I wondered whether similar help, like money given to enable someone with 'the big C' to have a holiday or some other type of 'wish' could or should be considered, either during or after a bout of cancer or a diagnosis of terminal cancer, or during later remission? I will just list two of the above mentioned people. Person A had cancer about ten years ago, had a major operation to remove most or all of it and now seems to be in permanent remission. They are not well off and although both person A and partner work full-time, they don't have enough to enjoy many of the good things in life and holidays and similar treats etc, are completely unheard of for them. A 'bucket list' is no more than an impossible dream in this case. So some kind of 'treat' would be a wonderful thing. Person B on the other hand is at the other end of the scale, as, besides being very astute and knowing exactly how to 'encourage' their friends to raise money for them, they also have a very well paid job, that allows them to take as much time off as they need (they had 15 months off work at first diagnosis, I don't know if any of that included pay, but they still have the job). They have been doing 'bucket list' things and have achieved over 25 things on it and are having to considerably extend the list! This has included stays in 5 star hotels all over the world and gone to many major events, been on radio and TV shows and even presented some of them. I won't list them all, but I think they have had a great time, which I am glad of, as they really deserve it and hope that they do enjoy many more! So person A in this case would be the only one needing a hand, (or even a hand out), to help them enjoy at least one good thing, they have done much for charity themselves, though don't like the thought of receiving any, but would probably do so, if such a scheme like this existed. Having just read through what I have written makes me seem like a jealous person! I don't intend to appear like that, as I have had many good things over my 60 years, which included holidays. So I am neither of these people and don't need any help. What with cancer being such a nasty thing, that seems to be everywhere now, I think that anyone with it, should be able to at least, have a bit of fun, to let them enjoy life either during or after their personal fight against it. I would love to know what you all think?

Posted 09 Jan 2020 at 00:46
I am very involved with a brain tumour charity which spends most of the money raised on research - we fund a team based at Leeds General Infirmary and co-located with Leeds university, which is quite a large financial commitment! We also fund support groups for people with cancer and for their relatives, therapies like massage, etc and counselling. Occasionally, someone comes to the charity's attention who is in financial dire straits because of their cancer and we have done things like buying a washing machine, helping a family to find and then furnish a new flat, or taking a journey to somewhere important to them before they die. I have also helped with getting two children into a school nearer the hospital so that mum could be with her husband a bit more and liaised with schools on support needs for children who are either grieving or preparing for loss. What we don't have the capacity to do is help people do nice things and I am not sure how we would ever be able to ascertain that they really needed the financial help as there will always be those who want something for nothing.

As far as I know, some local authorities and hospices do have this kind of help though. Leeds City Council for many, many years owned some holiday properties on the coast and professionals in the area could refer a person or family who would benefit. Leeds also has a holiday grant that carers or vulnerable people can apply for. Hospice staff usually know what is available in their locality.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 09 Jan 2020 at 01:00

That's great thanks Lyn! I was just remembering things like children who always want to go 'swimming with dolphins' etc, and wondered if there was anything similar for adults. But yes, I know what you mean about some people wanting something for nothing. Kids seem to be genuine and health professionals can usually tell if any real help is needed, but with adults, that's certainly a lot harder to tell, or to prove.

Posted 09 Jan 2020 at 17:18

I certainly understand your thoughts. I often think that we are fortunate that we can afford fuel and car park fees etc but have wondered how some people cope especially if they have to travel long distances.  Would the macmillan nurses know of any help that is available to those in real need?  I would imagine it might be a good suggestion for some of the bigger charities. Perhaps local hospices might provide things like massage pampers etc. I know one young friend with cancer had a lot of therapies offered to her to help her cope.



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